What’s On

A quick round-up of activities in London over the next couple of months, for activists and thinkers alike.  Plenty to get our teeth into – enjoy!

sfmhThursday 24 April 12.30-2pm South London Inter Faith Group informal lunch meeting at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Redlands Way, SW2 3LU.

Tuesday 29 April, 6pm – 8pm Multifaith Hustings for the European Elections at the Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, Brixton, SW9 7PH, organised by Faiths Together in LambethFurther details here.

PortcullisLogoTuesday 29 April 6.30pm at the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1A 2LQ.  Building Communities In An Age Of Change, with GlobalNet21 & Community Development Network London. Speakers include Andy Sawford MP & Steve Wyler of Locality.  Details here.

hfof_logo_no_strapWednesday 30 April 7.15 to 9pm Women’s Discussion Group (discussion, support and friendship) Hounslow Friends of Faith, Hounslow Community Centre, Montague Road, Hounslow TW3 1JY.  Details here.

Wednesday 7 May 6.30pm at St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M 8AD. Climate Change: Building the Will for Action with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Download the flyer here & book a place here.

www.faithstogetherincroydon.org.ukThursday 8 May 7 – 9 pm Faiths Together in Croydon event on Interfaith Marriage at CVA, 82 London Road, CR0 2TB. Contact Matt at matt@victoriascottpainter.com.

Saturday 10 May 7.00-8.15pm Conversations for the Soul (one to one interfaith conversations about beliefs and practice) at the South London Islamic Centre, 8 Mitcham Lane, SW16 6NN.  Details from John Woodhouse on 020 8677 0588 or 0790 8888 586 or email woodhousesopten@btinternet.com.

Sunday 11 May 2.30pm Lambeth Multi-faith Action Group. Faith in lamag-spring-event-2014Education at Corpus Christi Church Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 5BJ.  Speakers include Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Sarah Thorley and Fr Joseph Briffa SJ.

Monday 12 May 6 for 6.30pm at 77 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2EZ  Atheists: the Origin of the Species with Nick Spencer of Theos (book launch and discussion).

peace bird v smallTuesday 13 May 9.45-11.45am London Peace Network planning group meets in central London, probably in the Euston Road area.  The Peace Network was brought together by LBFN to promote the Olympic Truce and to support local peace-building. Visit the website to see what is planned and let LBFN know if you’d like to join us for the planning meeting – you would be most welcome.  Check LPN on Facebook.

Tuesday 13 May12.00 to 13.30 Lunchtime Dialogue in Whitechapel with the Christian Muslim Forum. A regular session based on Conversations for the Soul (tandem dialogue between people of different faiths) on the second Tuesday of each month. More details from CMF here.

GoldsmithsWednesday 14 May 5-7pm Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths.  Faith in the Public Realm Dilwar Hussain of New Horizons in British Islam at lecture room RHB 137. Registration and more details here.

Wednesday 14 May 5.30pm to 7.00pm.  RUSI, 61 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET.  How has religion become an agent in peace-building in conflict areas of the world?  Westminster Faith Debates.

london-interfaith-centre-logoWednesday 14 May 18.30 Narrative Practitioners Forum – for those who use personal narrative and story in their work to share best practice and learn from each other. At the London Inter Faith Centre, 125 Salusbury Road, NW6 6RG. With St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace, the Forgiveness Project, International School of Storytelling and Guerrard Hermes Foundation for Peace. £10. Book here.

Friday 16 May  Deadline for call for abstracts (invited from scholars and relevant practitioners) for an academic workshop Sense of Belonging in a Diverse Britain. Wide range of papers welcomed. Workshop organised by the Dialogue Society and Coventry University on 20-21 November in Coventry.

Thursday 29 May 10.30-15.00 Religion and Belief in Higher Education conference at SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London, N1 9BE. Papers include one on the social and academic experiences of Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Jewish students. £60. Details here.

chris2-300x169Tuesday 10th June to Thursday 12th June: Understanding Islam, a three day course with Dr Chris Hewer and the Faithful Friends group in Ham, Richmond. More details from Diana Mills at dianamills@phonecoop.coop.

Saturday 14th June 9.45am-6pm Westminster Interfaith’s 29th Annual Multi-Faith Pilgrimage for Peace – this year in Haringey.  This is always a popular event – booking form & contacts here and more details in the latest newsletter here.

Monday 16 June  Reflections of Jesus and Muhammad, or Distortions?  Day conference with the Christian Muslim Forum and several leading speakers at Abrar House, Crawford Place, nr Edgware Road W1H 4LP.  Details & registration here.

enorb logoTuesday 17 June – Wednesday 18 June  European Network on Religion & Belief AGM in Brussels, Belgium. Grassroots practitioners from across Europe gathering together, with Matthew Goodwin (Nottingham University) speaking on the far right in Europe and the impact of the recent elections.  This is a free event (reasonably priced accommodation available), with a visit to the European Parliament and Commission included. Further information & registration here.  LBFN has been part of ENORB from its inception.

Christian_Muslim_Forum_LogoThursday 26 June 18.30 to 21.00  Multiculturalism – Problem or Solution?  How do we all fit together, what kind of society do we live in, is it working?  Speakers include Dan Nilsson DeHanas, Akeela Ahmed, Ajmal Masroor, Revd Alan Green (Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum).  £5. Details from the Christian Muslim Forum.

Members of Kingston Inter Faith Forum & South London Inter Faith Group appeared on Sky News on Monday, sharing views following the Prime Minister’s Easter message.  View the clip here.

headingGreater London Presence & Engagement has produced a helpful briefing (Susanne gave us a sneak preview at our last meeting) to the controversy surrounding ‘religious slaughter’ – download it here.

At LBFN’s last meeting at DCLG we agreed to form several ‘social labs‘.  Our regular meetings are very successful at bringing a wide range of practitioners together from across the capital, but there are too many of us now to discuss our concerns in depth each time.  Have a look at the Social Labs page and let the convener know which one(s) you’d like to be involved with – there are six to choose from.

waterA few borough networks are refreshing their ideas, getting involved in new activities and attracting new members.  Contact LBFN if you’d like to meet up with similar faith forums/multifaith networks to share experiences.  Our Waterloo office is a perfect meeting space, with its informal cafe and plenty of space.

Please pass news on to your communities and networks and let LBFN know if you have any events, publications, job opportunities or news you would like to share.

Keep in touch via email.  And if you are on Facebook, please ‘like’ LBFN’s page https://www.facebook.com/LondonBoroughsFaithsNetwork and use it to link to your own activities.  LBFN’s convener tweets @multifaith and is always happy to find LBFN friends on Twitter.

 

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Upcoming events

London 2014 rThere’s plenty on in London to get 2014 off to a great start!

20 January 9.30am – 4.10pm  A Conversation about Conflict exploring the faith influences that can be used to tackle difficult issues in a community setting.  St Ethelburga’s and Christian Muslim Forum are co-facilitating the workshop at 305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH.  Details here.

  • Could your faith community improve the way it responds to conflict?
  • Are you interested in bringing the principles and practices of your faith into your responses to conflict?
  • Are you interested in sharing your faith practices across faiths and learning from each other?

22 January 10am-12pm Together in Service funding briefing at Bethnal Green Mission Church, 305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH.  There’s also a chance to talk to the TiS team individually about potential projects.  Details here.

22 January 6.30-8pm  Poverty and the Tolerance of the Intolerable – talk by Prof Amartya Sen at LSE . The talk will be live-streamed on LSE’s website and a podcast made available. Details here.

27 January  Holocaust Memorial Day events have been been organised by many London boroughs in cooperation with local religious communities, including Barnet, Lewisham, Haringey, Southwark, Greenwich, Croydon, Brent, Lambeth, Hounslow and Havering.  Details of all London events here.

27 January 5.30pm European Parliament training event with Faiths Forum for London at Europe House, Smith Square, W1.  The aim is to engage with citizens and faith groups to raise awareness of the issues and debates taking place in European Parliament and how citizens can get involved the decision making. Details here.

South London Inter Faith Group meets on the last Thursday of the month at 12.30-2pm at Streatham Friends Meeting House, Roupell Park Estate, Redland Way, SW2 3LU.  Next meeting 30 JanuaryDetails here.

4 February 6pm The Dialogue Society Book Group Meeting 5: A Distant Shore, by Caryl Phillips The Dialogue Society, 402 Holloway Road, N7 6PZ.  Details here.

Westminster Faith Debates are back with a new series, on global religious trends, at RUSI, 61 Whitehall, SW1A 2ET at 5.30pm, including on 12 February What is driving sectarian violence in the wake of the Arab spring? and on 12 March Are attempts to promote worldwide religious freedom naive or necessary?  Details here.

18 February Women in the 21st Century conference at Queen Mary University, London E1 4NS with a wide range of speakers and workshops (£40). Details here.

Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group meets next to the Cathedral in Victoria on the third Wednesday of the month at 4pm.  Upcoming speakers include Hugo Clarke (Curzon Institute) on World War 1 (19  February), Raheed Salam, faith and interfaith consultant for NCVYS (19 March).  Details here.

11 March 3-5pm  London Boroughs Faiths Network meeting at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, SW1E 5DU.  We are also planning two focused meetings on health and on young Londoners.

Goldsmiths’ Faiths and Civil Society Unit has a series on Faith in the Public Realm, including How do governments do God?  Warwick Hawkins MBE, Head of Faith Communities Engagement, Department for Communities and Local Government
12 March at 5pm.  Near Neighbours – can Christians do public faith for everyone? Dilwar Hussain, New Horizons in British Islam, 14 May at 5pm.  Details here.

15 March  God and Government Conference with Theos, covering welfare, religious freedom, multiculturalism, and education among others.  Details here.

Research Project on Attitudes to Self-Sacrificial Death for National and/or Religious Motives.  Prof John Wolffe (Professor of Religious History, The Open University) is interested to hear from anyone from a Catholic, Protestant or Muslim background who would like to take part in this study by being interviewed.  “In the run-up to the centenaries of the outbreak of the First World War (August 1914), of the Easter Rising in Dublin (April 1916) and of the Battle of the Somme (July 1916), we are developing a historical and contemporary study of British and Irish views on martyrdom and sacrificial death. We are interested not only in perceptions of events a century ago, but also in the way casualties have been regarded in events within living memory such as the Falklands War of 1982, the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and IRA attacks in the mainland UK in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. We are also exploring more contemporary examples, notably reactions to the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings, to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the ‘Arab Spring’.”  Details here.

Journeys . . .

Have you made plans to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January?  There are already 13 events listed in London boroughs, including Brent, Greenwich, Barnet and Westminster.

HMD2014The theme is Journeys.  We’re encouraged to organise our own events or take part in other people’s activities.  The HMD organiser packs are always excellent – order one here.

“For Holocaust Memorial Day 2014, we will learn of the multitude of Journeys that people were forced to undertake, in fear of what would be found at the end.

We will do so at events that bring us together with our neighbours, that strengthen bonds of respect, and that enable us to pledge to take a step towards creating a safer, better future.”

We can also get involved online, marking our support for a day which encourages us to remember the stories from the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, to be alert to racism, prejudice and discrimination and to “support the view that all citizens – without distinction – should participate freely and fully in the economic, social and public life of the nation.

support the view that all citizens – without distinction – should participate freely and fully in the economic, social and public life of the nation – See more at: http://www.hmd.org.uk/page/statement-purpose#sthash.whAypNrk.dpuf

clickThere are plenty of resources and ideas for different kinds of events and activities, including ideas and information especially for religious and multifaith groups.  There are podcasts from Revd Toby Howarth (the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Inter Religious Affairs adviser), Hasan Hasanović (a Bosnian Muslim remembering Srebrenica) and on the role of Righteous Muslims during WWII.

Please add any plans you or your borough or faith forum have for Holocaust Memorial Day in a comment below so that the invitations can be shared widely.

Further statements mourning the death of Drummer Lee Rigby

Leonie Lewis, Co-chair of the Faiths Forum for London and CEO of Jewish Volunteering Network, addressing the meeting on Friday.

Leonie Lewis, Co-chair of Faiths Forum for London and CEO of Jewish Volunteering Network, addressing the meeting on Friday.

The Faiths Forum for London helped organise an event on Friday, drawing together religious leaders, the armed forces and politicians, at which the Deputy Prime Minister spoke.  The two co-chairs of the Forum, Leonie Lewis and Canon Guy Wilkinson CBE, also spoke.

Phil Rosenberg, FFL’s Director, has uploaded a transcript of the speeches onto their website and these may be helpful in local conversations.  They spoke for us all in offering condolences to the family and friends of Drummer Lee Rigby and in condemning his brutal murder.  The speakers were:

  • Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP
  • Sadiq Khan MP
  • Lord Tariq Ahmad
  • Captain Afzal Amin
  • Imam Shams Ad Duha
  • Canon Guy Wilkinson CBE
  • Leonie Lewis

Further statements mourning the death of Drummer Lee Rigby and condemning the attack have been issued by the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board and the Women’s Interfaith Network.  Others are listed in a previous post.

Post-Woolwich action

Many of us have been busy supporting each other and liaising with our local police, council and religious leaders.

Events to bring people together have taken place and more are planned.  Mosques and churches led prayers for peace on Friday and today, supported by prayers from different religious traditions. Informal support, including simple messages and visits, have been appreciated by many.

Here is a short list of helpful contacts:

  1. Tell MAMA, the public service for measuring and monitoring anti-Muslim attacks, has recorded a surge in hate incidents since Wednesday.  Telephone Tell MAMA on 0800 456 1226; SMS: 0115 707 00 07; Twitter: @tellmamauk; E-mail: info@tellmamauk.org; Facebook: tellmamauk.  Tell MAMA does not replace reporting matters to the police.
  2. In emergency, always dial 999.  For less urgent reporting to the police, dial 101.  Find contacts for your local police service here.
  3. There may be a hate crime forum in your borough, run in cooperation with the police and the council.  Find your local council here.  Your local faith forum is listed on the same page.
  4. Statement on Violence, Hatred, Mistreatment of Minorities and Terrorist Attacks from the Christian Muslim Forum.  The Forum’s statement on the murder in Woolwich offers support to those who wish to support their local mosque.
  5.  Advice for mosques and British Muslims from the Muslim Council of Britain.

Please let me know if you come across other helpful contacts or material and I will pass them on.

Woolwich

I’m sure we are all very concerned about the terrible attack in Woolwich today.

Muslim, multifaith and other groups across London have been speaking out, issuing statements of solidarity against such acts and offering condolences to the family of the young man who has lost his life.

Through our network, we know that there are very good relations and long standing friendships between people of different religious traditions in Greenwich.  The Greenwich Faith Community Leaders will be meeting with the Council tomorrow and I know we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers, along with all those who live and work in Woolwich, as they cope with the aftermath.

Statements issued include those by the Muslim Council of Britain, the National Association of Muslim Police and the Faiths Forum for London.

Here is the Faiths Forum for London’s statement (full list of signatories on FFL’s website):

“We, as representatives of many of London’s faith communities, deplore the terrible attack that has taken place today in Woolwich.

All of our religions exalt the sanctity of human life and no grievance could justify such a barbaric assault that has cost a young man his life. Terrorism has no place on our streets.

We pray for the victim of this attack and his family, and call for Londoners to stand together at this time. We will redouble our efforts to work for peace, love, understanding and hope.”

LBFN is ready to offer practical support to any of our local members who face difficulties as a result of today’s events.  Please contact LBFN’s Convener.

Update on Thursday 23rd May.  Further statements have been released by

Christian Muslim Forum

Inter Faith Network of the UK

Al-Khoei Foundation

Islamic Forum of Europe

Islamic Society of Britain

HOPE not hate

Update on Friday 24th May.  Statement from Lambeth Council, Borough Commander and Faiths Together in Lambeth.

Leader of Lambeth council, Cllr Lib Peck said, “The whole community in Lambeth will have been shocked by the horrific murder of a soldier in Woolwich yesterday afternoon. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family.

We all have a role in protecting the borough and keeping the community safe and we are sure that people in Lambeth will stand together against those who seek to divide us or exploit this incident for their own ends. The council and police are supporting these efforts to ensure that we can go about our lives in safety. We ask everyone to continue to remain calm and vigilant.”

Matt Bell, Lambeth Police Borough Commander said, “Lambeth Police recognise that many communities are feeling anxious and concerned followed the unique events of yesterday however Lambeth borough’s diversity is one of its strengths and I have today assured faith and other community leaders that we will protect and serve this community and they have in turn reiterated their condemnation of the criminal acts perpetrated yesterday and their support for the service and to work with us.”

Revd Alan Gadd, Chair of Faiths Together in Lambeth said, “There are many diverse faith communities in the borough of Lambeth and all will be shocked and saddened by the murder in Woolwich yesterday. At a time like this, many people of faith will recall the multi-faith activity of recent years that has built good relationships, and once again will draw upon those relationships to offer reassurance and show solidarity.”

AGMs ahoy!

It’s the time of year for celebrations and AGMs.  Five invitations have dropped into the LBFN inbox.

ftil logoFaiths Together in Lambeth holds its meeting on Tuesday 11th June at 6pm – more details from the Chair, Alan Gadd.

batca logoBATCA – Balham & Tooting Community Association holds its AGM this week on Tuesday 21st May at 7pm.  Details from the Secretary, Narween Barwany.

The Greenwich Peninsula Chaplaincy‘s 10th Anniversary falls on Wednesday 5th June and celebrations will include welcoming the Mayor of Greenwich.  Contact the Co-ordinating Chaplain, Revd Malcolm Torry for more details.

hfof_logo_no_strapNot a meeting, but Hounslow Friends of Faith are planning a Walk of Peace and Friendship on Sunday 30th June.  Contact the Secretary for details.

Westminster Cathedral Inter Faith Group has circulated an invitation for Thursday 13th June at 4.30pm at the Cathedral’s hall.  Cardinal Tauran, the Pope’s senior advisor on interreligious dialogue, and representatives from different religions will offer prayers for peace in their different traditions.  More details from John Woodhouse.

Let LBFN know if you have an AGM or event planned and you’d welcome visitors from other boroughs.